New Delhi: The Centre on Sunday told states that liquid oxygen should not be allowed for any non-medical purpose, adding that no industry will be exempted this time. The directive by the government comes as many parts of India grapple with an acute oxygen shortage amid a raging pandemic. In the recent advisory, the centre said that those 9 industries won’t be exempted any longer for manufacturing oxygen for solely medical purposes. The Centre had last time granted these 9 industries a relief.Also Read - Centre Waives Off Customs Duty on Import of Covid Vaccines And Oxygen For 3 Months

“State/UT Govts to ensure that use of liquid oxygen is not allowed for any non-medical purpose & that all manufacturing units may maximise their production of liquid oxygen & make it available to govt for use of medical purposes only with immediate effect until further orders,” the MHA said.

India is struggling with a second wave of the pandemic with more than three lakh daily new coronavirus cases being reported in the past few days, and hospitals in several states are reeling under a shortage of medical oxygen and beds.

On Friday, the Centre had decided to waive customs duty and health cess on the import of Covid vaccines and O2 with immediate effect for three months. The decision came after Prime Minister chaired a high-level meeting to review the Coronavirus situation in the country. The waiver will be applicable on the import of equipment related to providing patients with oxygen, such as generators, storage tanks, filling systems, and concentrators. A nodal officer was appointed to deal with the customs clearances.